Dallas Cowboys legend Darren Woodson uses team's military connections to help veterans


Dallas Cowboys legend Darren Woodson is inviting fans out before Sunday's game for a good cause.

On Nov. 10, the 5-3 Cowboys are hosting the 6-3 Minnesota Vikings for "Sunday Night Football" in a matchup of NFC powerhouses and likely playoff contenders. Ahead of kickoff, the three-time Super Bowl champion will be spending three hours stocking care packages for active-duty military service members and veterans, helping to serve those who serve us, as part of Crown Royal's Purple Bag Project.

Woodson, whose father, brother and three uncles served in various branches of the United States military, says the connection between the armed forces and the Cowboys — which he says is "absolutely" still America's team — has always been strong.

"I've always been engaged in helping our military veterans," Woodson said just ahead of Veterans Day. "As a Dallas Cowboy, over the years, we've always been associated with the military, and that speaks directly to the Jones family keeping their players involved in giving back, not only to the military but to the community."

The team's connection to the armed forces is a deep one. Woodson recalled a moment back in 1992 shortly after he was drafted by Dallas when he met his first Cowboy, which instantly drove home the franchise's relationship with the military.

"The first person I met was Roger Staubach," he said. "And who better to meet? Roger Staubach served in the Navy before he became the Dallas Cowboys quarterback. There's always been an affiliation between the military and the Dallas Cowboys."

Former head coach Jimmy Johnson was also among one of the first to ever pack a bag for the Purple Bag Project.

Before this Sunday's game, fans over the age of 21 who want to get involved in helping veterans and active service members can do so at the Crown Royal bar outside of Gate A at AT&T Stadium from 4 to 7 p.m. local time. Essentials from toothpaste to snacks will already be provided — all fans need to do is fill the bags, which will then be shipped out to military members overseas.

The goal of the Purple Bag Project is to fill 1 million bags before 2020, and Woodson believes that with the help of Cowboys fans this weekend, that number will be no problem to reach.